javier baez aflThis is some pleasant news.

After turning it on at High-A Daytona – so much so that he was named the organization’s Player of the Month for June – it looks like top prospect Javier Baez is being promoted to AA Tennessee. The young shortstop has largely cemented his status as the best prospect in the Cubs’ organization on the strength of a .274/.338/.535 line in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. At just 20, Baez was on the younger side for the league, and he’ll now be very young for the Southern League.

It’s funny and exciting to see this promotion when, just a month or two ago, we all would have said Baez’s teammate Jorge Soler was at least as likely to see a July promotion to AA Tennessee, if not more so. Thanks to a stress fracture in his tibia, Soler remains nominally at High-A while he rehabs, and Baez is headed up the ladder. What may have triggered the promotion for Baez is his rapidly falling strikeout rate – which was tickling an unacceptable 30% earlier this year and is now at a still-not-great-but-trending-well 23.1% – and his rapidly improving walk rate – which is now a career best 6.2%.

Baez will be challenged at Tennessee for the rest of this season, and I’m sure everyone would be ecstatic if he put himself into a position to be discussed for a look at AAA by this time next year, if not sooner. Many say that the most difficult adjustment in the minor leagues is the one from High-A to AA, so we’ll see how Baez handles it.

What Baez’s promotion means for the rest of the Tennessee roster will be interesting. With Roni Torreyes sent off to the Astros, second base largely opened up for – in theory – Arismendy Alcantara to work there more regularly. If that’s the plan, then the promotion of Baez simply slides him into that open shortstop spot. If, however, the Cubs want Alcantara to continue to get regular work at shortstop, it may take an aggressive promotion of Alcantara, who is, himself, is just 21.

  • Corey

    Thats odd, I was at one of his last games on the 4th. He had an impressive put out deep in the hole and a sharply hit single.

  • http://Bleachernation Jay

    I knew this was going to happen. It figures that he would right after the AA series I was able to attend. Oh well, I’ll travel next month to see him.

  • Blublud

    I wish people will stop talking about trading Baez. Beaz will not be traded. We will not be trading guys to acquire elite talented (unless there is a Stanton or Price involved) until the young core is on the field and producing. Baez will more than likely be the first of those core players to reach the majors, so he won’t be a prospect when the “trades to acquire elite talent” begin, he’ll either be a young, proven major leaguer with years of cheap control left(which makes him the type of player we want to trade for) or an unsuccessful player who had talent but couldn’t put it together(at which point his trade value will have diminished). Thi promotion has nothing to do trade value, it has nothing to do with his player of the month award. This promotion is about rainouts in Daytona. He cannot be taking every other day off.

    • Ivy Walls

      Not if they are properly developed. I think we might see an interesting future DP combination with Alcantara & Baez backed up with a CF’er named Almora. As for Castro I just see him being moved to 3B until Bryant or someone even better comes along.

      What we are seeing is something special in organizational development.

  • Cast

    It’s funny how now everyone is pushing trying to get Castro out when in reality 3 or 4 years from now Baez could be doing the same thing. Players will struggle and make mental mistakes in the early part of there career. Also you can look at how many errors Baez already has at short stop this season…. I love both players, but the hate for Castro needs to stop before we’re the reason he doesn’t succeed in Chicago

  • Mr. Gonzo

    To think there is a good possibility that Baez, Soler and Bryant may all be in Tennessee next season at the same time is intriguing. Even more if they began moving together from there.

    • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

      I would think all 3 at Tennessee this season depending on
      the speed of Soler’s recovery.

  • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

    And remember castro only had 250 AB at AA.

  • Dustin S

    Probably mentioned elsewhere, but if not Rob Zastraszny also tweeted he got promoted to Boise today. Wonder if there are others in the works since they tend to be done in bunches. Good news for him, and more frustration that Bryant is on the sidelines.

  • CubsinMS

    Carrie Muskat tweeted that Rob Zastryzny and Zack Godley were promoted to Boise.

  • Tommy

    Hey, Brett or Luke – what’s going on with Daniel Poncedeleon? I thought he signed a long time ago, but he isn’t showing as signed on Cubs.com. Does anyone know what’s going on with him?

  • willis

    They play the Jackson Generals in Jackson this coming week, about 65 or so miles from my house in east Memphis. I’m going to try and catch a couple out of the set. For anyone else somewhat close to Jackson, Thursday night’s game is dollar night…dollar dogs, dollar popcorn, dollar soft drinks and yes, dollar 12 oz beer. Yes, please.

  • http://Bleachernation Jay

    & he goes yard in his first AA AB!!

  • http://bleachernation DL Huyck

    I was hoping for a Baez promotion soon. I am heading to Tenn Jul 14th for the week. I will catch a game or two right after the AA all star game!

  • Die hard

    Bryant may not be 3B of future… He could end up in RF given above avg arm and speed — if so then IF competition wide open and as a result unsettled going into 2015 which would be logical year to see Baez Watkins Alacantra … And OF would have Soler and Bryant for sure… Not including others like Almora etc.. 2014 could be ugly tho

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